The Chairwoman opened the Meeting at 7.30 pm.
2. Declaration of Members’ Interests
None on known agenda items.
3. Public Participation
Dr Portas explained that there is an increasing requirement for larger premises at the Wrington Surgery. This is the result of the expansion of services, with more procedures undertaken by GPs that were formerly carried out by hospitals. They would also wish to accommodate district nurses and health visitors within the practice, as this would be more efficient and provide a better service for patients. There is also a need to expand their pharmaceutical services.
Members of Council asked a number of questions, which resulted in the following responses:
The practice requires an area of 600 square metres, over two sites Wrington and Churchill. The total number of patients served by both surgeries is 9,200. The practicality of extending the existing premises in Station Road is doubtful because of the parking requirements. They view the debate on ‘polyclinics’ as both an opportunity and a threat, but in any case they want to continue to be a village practice. In terms of what the Parish Council may be able to do to help, they would be interested to hear any suggestions of possible suitable sites.
It was emphasised that plans are at a very early stage, and a feasibility study is currently being undertaken, which will help clarify the needs more precisely. Two possibilities were suggested by councillors: to investigate using the Glebe Field, although there is some doubt as to whether it would be large enough, and also it is owned by the Diocese of Bath & Wells; and secondly to look at the Brook House site.
The Chairwoman thanked the doctors and Ms Tarnowski for explaining their plans, and they agreed to keep the Parish Council informed of future developments. They then left the meeting.
4. The Minutes of the Meeting held on 18th June 2008 were reviewed. It was noted that the word ‘annual’ on the first page should be deleted, and with this amendment, the minutes were signed as a true record.
a. A copy of a letter from Mr Gordon Arnott to NSC requesting a second bus shelter for Broad Street was presented. A response from NSC will be awaited, although it is doubtful whether they would be prepared to fund such a facility.
b. Weight restriction on the A368: a letter from Blagdon Parish Council to Cllr Elfan ap Rees at NSC, expressing concern over the effect on businesses in Blagdon, was read out. The weight restriction is for an experimental period of six months, and the objective is to keep heavy good vehicles away from Burrington Combe and villages such as Banwell. Local businesses will have to apply for permits in order to allow heavy vehicles to have access to their premises. Cllr Bigg said that similar schemes work well in other parts of the country, and pointed out that Wrington is party to Traffic Management Through Villages (TMTV). It was agreed to note Blagdon Parish Council’s concerns and await developments such as whether the scheme has any effects on Wrington parish. The scheme starts on 4th August.
c. The Clerk read out notice of closure of two roads in Wrington it is assumed for resurfacing: South Meadows in early August one day only, and Station Road from 27th October for three days. Disappointment was expressed that Station Road would not be resurfaced until the autumn, and the Clerk was asked to request earlier action, and also to query how access would be provided to the surgery.
d. A letter from David Turner of NSC was read out. This was in response to a request for road signs to be replaced on the A38 near the airport, as it had not proved possible to remove the graffiti, and also to request a solution to the flooding problems in Lulsgate bottom. Mr Turner said that the signs were to be replaced ‘shortly’, and that a scheme has been developed to provide a permanent solution to the flooding problem. However, this involves the co-operation of adjacent landowners which is currently being sought. It was agreed that the Clerk should ascertain when the signs are to be replaced, and to monitor the situation with flooding.
e. Alcohol requests two requests were received and noted.
a. Police Report: a copy of the police report had been circulated immediately prior to the meeting. Cllr Bigg mentioned that cars are being backed into the school entrance in Orchard Close and as this is also the pedestrian entrance and exit, this could be dangerous. PCSO Yvette Jordan has been asked to monitor this. The problem of parking on the yellow lines on Broad Street in the area near the bank was raised it is apparent that most culprits are locals parking for a short time. It was agreed to suggest to the PCSO that she is not zealous in enforcing the rules in that particular area, but that it was important to ensure that the bus bay is kept clear at all times.
b. Clerk’s Report and Financial Report: The Clerk’s report had been circulated previously.
Approval was given for payment of the following accounts:
Prism (office supplies) £95.48
Playsafe Ltd (play areas inspection) £169.20
S Arrowsmith - village orderly (June) £96.00
Cottage Garden Services (allotment clearing) £383.75
Cyber Room (photocopies 1st quarter) £22.12
Connaught Environmental £56.40
EDF Energy (street lights 1st quarter) £890.48
SEC Contracting (street lights maintenance) £750.23
Clerk’s expenses - 1st quarter) £90.99
(travel £25.67; postage £18.98; sundries £46.34)
Clerk’s salary (July) to be calculated
D G Maintenance (invoice expected shortly for maintenance in play areas)
c. Working Groups
i. Finance Cllr Gallop said that the Finance working group had met on the previous day to peruse the annual accounts and deal with any queries arising. The format for presentation of the monthly financial accounts was also discussed, and it was proposed that a summary of expenditure by budget heading would be included, with the more detailed breakdown being kept in the office and also being presented at Finance working group meetings. This policy was agreed.
ii. Highways Cllr Matthews reported that work is progressing on the Link Road issue, and currently information is awaited from Atkins. On Shared Space, two councillors had recently visited Tidworth, where ‘gateways’ have been installed and a further visit was planned for the following week. An invitation had been received to attend a meeting at Chudleigh in Devon, where Phil Parker is making a presentation. It was agreed that Cllr Matthews and Cllr Irving would attend.
iii. Airport Cllr Matthews reported that there had been no meeting of the group since the last Parish Council meeting. It was noted that the current Chief Executive at BIA is leaving, and it is therefore likely that the new Chief Executive will need to look again at the planning application. A meeting with BIA personnel will be arranged for October.
iv. Environment Cllr Bigg circulated an update on the work undertaken by herself and Cllr Dunn Morua, involving visiting residents affected by flooding, and forwarding the information gathered to Ted Smith of Johnston Smith Consulting Ltd. This is a very time-consuming but worthwhile exercise, and more volunteers are urgently needed to get the task completed there are at least another 20 or 30 residents to visit. Ted Smith has provided additional maps to cover areas surrounding the village, and it is planned to display these in the John Locke Room for reference. Ted Smith is particularly concerned about any potential expansion of the airport and the impact this may have on flooding.
Parish Plan this has been reduced in length and will now need to be presented to the working group.
d. District Councillor’s report
A written report had been circulated previously. The issue of the 121 bus service is still being pursued. On the proposed siting of the South Bristol extension, Cllr Bigg commented that it seemed likely this would be nearer to our area than had been assumed initially and there are some very important issues relating to this which need to be explored. She is also concerned that the South West Bristol Urban Extension Advisory Group has only two seats for parish councils Barrow Gurney and Long Ashton; she will obtain notes from meetings of the group and make these available.
7. Approval of Annual Accounts
The Clerk circulated copies of the relevant sections of the Annual Return for review and agreement by councillors. The Clerk pointed out that in the area of internal audit there was a need to improve our system, so that financial procedures were monitored during the year. Enquiries will now be made to find a suitably experienced internal auditor who specialises in working with parish councils.
It was proposed by Cllr Gallop and seconded by Cllr Bigg that the annual accounts be approved. All were in favour.
8. Play Areas: annual safety inspection
The Clerk reported that she had accompanied a representative of Playsafe Ltd, who carried out inspections on behalf of RoSPA, on an inspection of the two play areas on 19th June. A report had now been received, and in general there were no immediate problems. The equipment in the Church Walk play area is generally in a reasonable condition and meets current safety standards. Some routine maintenance has recently been carried out, and the damage from a recent incident of vandalism has been repaired. The equipment at the Recreation Field, however, dates from the 1970s, and would not meet current safety standards. The condition of the equipment is also deteriorating due to its age. Whilst there is nothing that constitutes an immediate danger, it is recommended that replacement of the most out of date equipment should be planned for. It was therefore agreed that the Clerk would obtain information about various options and present this at a future meeting.
9. Shared Space
Cllr Matthews reported that a response had now been received from David Turner of NSC. This expresses interest in and support for the concept, whilst not committing to the provision of funding for any Shared Space projects. Cllr Matthews is to draft a reply and will circulate this.
10. Emergency Planning
Following the recent fire at the industrial estate, Cllr Thorn had circulated a paper highlighting some of the issues arising from this incident and suggesting that it would now be appropriate to start evolving an emergency plan for the parish.
On the particular issue of the fire, Cllr Irving said this should be regarded as a ‘wake up call’. It was clear, for example, that no plan was available of the industrial estate, with details of the businesses or their activities, and the Parish Council should now request this information. The Parish Council should also write to the relevant authorities, such as the Fire Service to request a risk assessment, especially given the close proximity of housing to the site.
It was agreed that a working group should be formed to develop an Emergency Plan to cover not only fire, but also flooding and airport-related incidents, etc. This will be headed by Cllr Thorn and will include Cllr Dunn Morua, Cllr Yamanaka, Cllr Irving, Cllr Bigg and Cllr Ledbury.
11. Open Forum
* Cllr Yamanaka referred to the issue of an Affordable Housing Exception Site. She said that nothing further could be decided until a needs survey has been carried out and completed. Any decision about whether to agree to an exception site should be made by the full Council, although detailed consideration could be delegated to the Planning Committee. This was agreed.
* Cllr Dunn Morua asked whether a cul-de-sac sign could be put up at the entrance to the dead-end part of Rickyard Road, and Cllr Ledbury wondered whether the two road signs near the bridge on Halfyard could be combined into one. The Clerk will take up these issues at the next meeting with the NSC Area Officer.
There being no other business the meeting was declared closed at 10.07 pm.